Album Review – Sonic Youth


Sonic Youth -‘Simon Werner A Disparu’ (SYR)

The latest album from Sonic Youth is released on their own SYR label and forms the soundtrack to the French film Simon Werner A Disparu (AKA Lights Out). Their releases on the SYR label (as opposed to their releases on Blast First, Geffen or Matador) have often been portrayed to be hard, impenetrable releases, designed to appeal only to a select hardcore of fans.

Which is slightly unfair. Granted, Goodbye 20th Century was as far away from Goo or Dirty as you can get, but Sonic Youth have always had their fingers in a number of pies in their now thirty year existence. They may have had hits, but they’ve also had a foot rooted firmly in the avant garde as well. This release is an entirely instrumental album, which provides the soundtrack. While not as out there as Goodbye 20th Century, it features sublime moments and exercises in feedback. It also features the reappearance of erstwhile collaborator and bassist Jim O’Rourke on thet closing track ‘Theme D’Alice.’

This is actually a really good example of Sonic Youth’s music and how they work as a band. It may not be the best starting point for tackling their (pretty massive) back catalogue but if you feel the urge to investiagte their more off the beaten track releases away from the major labels, this is as fine a place as any to start.


Simon Werner A Disparu is out now on SYR

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